Steins;Gate Episode 4
What this is about: Watching all of the anime shows so you don’t have to! For more information about me and my reviews, click here for details on what I am reviewing.
Series Premise: Steins;Gate is a 24-episode weekly television series that started in April 2011, based on an X-Box video game by 5pb. A small group of friends headed by self-proclaimed mad scientist Rintarou Okabe (a.k.a. Hououin) manage to create a way to send messages into the past using a modified microwave oven. However, a larger, more sinister government organization has also been doing research in time travel and Rintarou’s group soon finds itself in danger.
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ep. tl;dr review: Rintarou continues his Mad Scientist schtick as they track down the IBN-5100 computer; Slllllllllllowly the plot turns.
Episode Summary: Rintarou and Itaru can’t make heads nor tails out of the code hacked from SERN, but learn from John Titor that it can be deciphered by the enigmatic IBN-5100 computer. While doing laundry, Rintarou runs across Kurisu, who still denies the existence of a time machine but comes back into the fold. He learns from the Maid Cafe Girl that the shrine where Trap Boy/Girl lives may have the computer, so Rintarou and Kurisu go there to pick it up.
My Impressions: So. When is something going to actually happen?
I know that this show is going to last for twenty-plus episodes, and they have to pace it out appropriately. But seriously, I’m getting a bit tired of all the set-up and prologue. Steins;Gate sure it taking it’s sweet, sweet time to get the plot moving. After a brain-bending opening, I must be honest and say it’s been somewhat boring since.
The main thing that has held this show together so far is Mr. Mad Scientist himself. The voice actor doing the role must be having a ball, because he’s really putting his all into Rintarou, and it shows. Rintarou is fun to watch because you never know what to expect from him. The Mad Scientist moniker is not just for show, he really is about six eggs short of a dozen. Thankfully, Kurisu “Chris-TIN-a!” looks like she can give as good as she gets from Rintarou. Nope, no shrinking violet or weak-kneed wallflower here! But interesting and engaging characters can only go so far, and I really hope the stalled-out plot kicks into second gear soon.
Oh, and I’m also not really digging the character styles (sort of plain, cookie-cutter and stiff), and the eye-searing washed-out artwork is doing nothing for me. Four episodes in, and I could go either way on Steins;Gate.
The verdict: – Thumbs up, but just barely.
- My earlier reviews:
- Info resources: My Anime List, Anime News Network, AniDB, and Wikipedia
- If you like this, you might also like: Noein or Future Diary
Sampling of Online Reviews:
- “Unlike a lot of other series, Steins;Gate has this great combination between plot development and random goofing off. Here you have characters doing the laundry at one time, but you’ll never know when they’ll start talking about the plot again. It’s also a very good thing that the dialogue is really well written.” – Star Crossed Anime Blog
- “The nice thing about the show is that there’s no concrete plotline laid out, so there’s no predictability as to how the story will even pan out. That would already be cool by itself, but throw in the inevitable time travel twists in the future, and you’ve got one hell of a good thing going here.” – Random Curiosity
- “I’ve come to the conclusion that Steins;Gate is not to be taken seriously. Now, I get the impression that the series is much more like an episode of Scooby-Doo than a hardcore science fiction show. It’s got its moments with drama and conflict, but for the most party, it’s a group of weirdos running around trying to solve a mystery regarding time travel. And their incompetence is ridiculous.” – Sea Slugs!
- “I feel like Steins;Gate is dangling a carrot in front of me, only giving me a nibble every now and then to keep me interested. It’s working, that’s for sure. The plot is definitely a major pull of interest that keeps me going, but so is Okarin. I could watch him converse with any character, no matter how dull, for an entire episode.” – Metanorn
- “The story itself is progressing at a rather slow pace, with this entire episode devoted to tracking down a IBN 5100 machine, only for it to have been conveniently stored away at a local shrine. The plot here wasn’t terribly special, but the character interactions along the way made things rather enjoyable to watch.” – Emory Anime Club
ROUND FOUR RESULTS FOR SPRING 2011 SHOWS:
Thumbs-up for Round Four: Steins;Gate
Thumbs-down for Round Four: None yet.
Coming up next (in this order): Deadman Wonderland, Hanasaku Iroha, Ano Hana, Tiger and Bunny, Nichijou, Yondemasuyo Azazel-san, C: The Money of Soul and Possibility Control, Blue Exorcist, Kaiji Season 2, Hyouge Mono